Wild Honey

Band members                         Related acts

- Mike Brown -- vocals, drums, percussion

- Stan Klein -- lead guitar, vocals

- Carol Moore -- vocals

- David Bobby Robbins -- bass, vocals




Fantasy (Carol Moore and Dabid Robbins)

- Zig Zag People (Mike Brown)





Genre: pop

Rating: 1 stars *

Title:  Wild Honey

Company: Illusion

Catalog: CM 2011
Year: 1977

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Comments: some hissing  in quieter passages but no skips

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 112

Price: $90.00


Another obscure tax scam release; this one on Mike Pinera's Florida-based Illusion label ...  A total unknown, this one doesn't show up on any of the online references. 


Based on the album performance credits, Wild Honey actually had an interesting pedigree.  Drummer Mike Brown had been a member of the New York-based Zig Zag People.  Lead singer Carol Moore and bassist David Robbins had been members of the band Fantasy.  Robbins shows up on that album's performance credits, but Moore doesn't.  How the quartet (rounded out by lead guitarist Stan Klein) ended up in Florida, signed to Pinera's Illusion label is a mystery.


Given the band member's track record, 1977's Pinera produced "Wild Honey" would seem to have held some promise.   Wrong.  This was pretty terrible from start to finish.  The ten tracks offered up a mixture of original material and cover tunes; virtually every one of them simply horrible.  Musically the set made little sense bouncing from cocktail jazz ('Fresh Strawberry Wine'), to awful '50s pop ('Shaboom, Shaboom'), to jazz-rock fusion ('Carol's Surprise').  The funny thing is that these guys clearly had talent.  Klein displayed some decent guitar chops on a couple of tracks (check out 'Fresh Strawberry Wine').   Moore had a strong and crystal clear voice that could have done wonders with better material and Robbins was clearly a talented bassist.   It all went to waste on these ten songs.  This was clearly music as a business product, rather than music as art.  And since the intent wasn't to actually sell copies of the album, I guess none of the principals really cared about the results.


- Not to sound overly critical, but 'Fresh Strawberry Wine' sounded like a studio jam session that happened to be captured on tape.  With every member of the band given a shot at the spotlight, the song had a strange, MOR jazzy feel.  Moore and one of the guys (not sure who), shared lead vocals, including some irritating scat sections.  The song highlights (I'm using the term loosely), came in the form of Klein's brief guitar solo and  Robbins' bass work.    rating: ** stars

- Showcasing Moore, 'Yes I Would' was an under-whelming and under-produced ballad.  This one sounded like a demo that had never been given any post-production attention.  To be fair, Moore turned in a nice enough performance, though the male backing vocals that echoed her lyrics and through in a bunch of needless "la la Las" were of little value.   rating: ** stars

- Sung by one of the guys, their jazzed-up cover of  'Going Out of My Head' won't make you forget the Little Anthony and the Imperial hit.  Best described as hopeless Holiday Inn lounge act moves, I wonder if they'd been listening to too much Free Design ?     rating: * star

- 'You had to wonder why the band felt the need to cover the pop chestnut 'Shaboom, Shaboom'.  Cheesy, they may have meant to invoke a sense of nostalgia, but  their version offered absolutely nothing to the listener.   Horrific.   rating: * star

- The instrumental 'Carol's Surprise' started out sounding like a slice of Jeff Beck inspired jazz-rock fusion.  To be honest, Beck's work in the genre never did much for me and this mindless noodling wasn't about to set my world on fire.  Wonder what the surprise was ...   rating: ** stars

- I never liked the Average White Band original and this lounge act cover of 'You Got It' was simply horrible.  The only semi-redeeming quality was a brief Klein guitar solo.  Other than that ... yech.  rating: * star

- Hum, about all I can say id that the ballad 'All the Gentle Breezes Ever' sounded like a television commercial ...  rating: * star

- I'm guessing 'Mr. Sandman' was recorded because 1.) they didn't pay anything to cover it, or 2.) it was the kind of stuff they expected to play as a wedding band ...   rating: 1 star

- Another wedding band number ... Amazing how bad their cover of 'The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face' was.  The Roberta Flack version had a certain understated majesty.  This version doesn't even have a melody ...  it just kind of floats out there with Moore doing her best to find a groove.  rating: 1 star


In the running as one of the worst albums I've ever heard.


"Wild Honey" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Fresh Strawberry Wine   (Steve Klein - Carl Edwards) - 4:15

2.) Yes I Would   (Stan Klein - Catherine Klein) - 3:35

3.) Going Out of My Head   (Randazzo - Weinstein) - 4:39

4.) Shaboom, Shaboom   J. Keys - C. Feater - K. Feaster - F.F. McRay - J.P. Edwards) - 2:35

5.) Carol's Surprise (instrumental)  (Stan Klein) - 3:00   


(side 2)
1.) You Got It   (Roger Bell - Hamish Stuart Allan Gorrie) - 4:05

2.) All the Gentle Breezes Ever    (Stan Klein - Catherine Klein) - 3:00  

3.) Mr. Sandman   (Pat Ballard) - 2:20

4.) The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face   (Evan McCall) - 6:45




I've never seen a copy or heard it (not sure I want to), but the band released a second LP on Illusion - 1977's cleverly-titled "Part Two" (Illusion catalog number CM 2012)